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THE TRAIN THAT LOST ITS WAY

Illustrated by EILEEN A. SOPER

BROCKHAMPTON PRESS. LEICESTER

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THE TRAIN THAT LOST ITS WAY

The nursery was dull and quiet. The children had gone away to the seaside, and there was nobody to play with the toys. "There's nothing to do !" said the golliwog. "I'm bored," said the teddy bear. "I don't even want to growl any more." "Well, that's a good thing," said the big doll. "I don't like your growl." The bear at once growled loudly. He

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just did it to annoy the big doll, not because he wanted to. "Mean thing," said the big doll, and I hey began to quarrel. "You know, something must be the matter with us," said the toy panda, looking at everyone out of his big black eyes. "We are always quarrelling. Yesterday the golliwog pulled my tail." "And this morning the bear threw my key across the room," said the clockwork mouse. "And the golliwog smacked the big doll," said the bear. "Yes, something must be the matter with us." "I know what it is," said the panda. "We want a holiday! The children go away for holidays, the grown-ups go away—yes, even Topsy the dog goes away—but we don't." "What's a holiday?" asked the clockwork mouse.
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"Isn't he a baby?" said the big doll. "A holiday, silly, is when you leave your home and go and stay somewhere else for a change. And you come back feeling much better and you don't quarrel any more." "Then I should like a holiday," said the clockwork mouse. "Let's go and get one !" All the toys began to feel excited. Yes, it would be great fun to go away for a holiday. But where should they go? "To the seaside!" said the big doll. "What's the seaside?" asked the clockwork mouse. "Is it a kind of see-saw?" "Of course not, baby!" said the big doll. She thought for a bit. She had never been to the seaside and she really wasn't quite sure what it was like. "You'll see when you get there," she told the clockwork mouse. "Well, that's settled, then," said the golliwog. "We shall go away for a

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"Get in" she said. "It's time we were off." "I'll be the guard" said the golliwog, and he took a little green flag from the toy cupboard. He got into the last truck and beamed round at everyone. "I'd better have a driver," said the wooden train. "I can go by myself all right, round and round the nursery, but I'd rather have a driver if we are going a long way." "I'll be the driver," said the teddy bear. "I've always wanted to be an engine-driver. Now, is everyone ready?" The wooden train had three trucks, all of different colours. There was plenty of room in them. The panda, the pink cat, the monkey and the wooden soldier got into the first truck. The big doll, the little doll and the clockwork mouse got into the second truck. The golliwog was in the last truck with

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the blue rabbit. They were great friends and always went everywhere together. "Ready?" said the golly. "Right away, then!" He waved his green flag and he blew a whistle. The wooden train, feeling very grand to have a driver and a guard, rumbled over the carpet to the door. They were off! Out of the door went the train, and down the passage. The garden door there was open and the train rattled down a little step, almost upsetting itself as it went. "Hey! Be careful!» yelled the bear. "I almost fell out." Down the garden path went the train at top speed. It was really enjoying itself. It scared two sparrows into
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the air and made the cat jump on top of the wall in a great hurry. Then it came out into the lane at the bottom of the garden. 'Stop a minute," the bear. "Which way do we go?" The train stopped. The golliwog saw a swallow flying in the air and called to it. "Hie, swallow! You fly over the sea and back every year. Which way to the seaside, please?" "Take the road to the south," twittered the swallow. "Down the lane, that way." So off the train clattered again, scaring

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old Mrs. Brown terribly when it met her in the lane. "Now what could that have been?" she said. "A red snake? No, there isn't such a thing." Down the lane and round the corner and into the wood. "Keep to the path, wooden train, or we'll all be jerked out!" cried the bear. "It's so bumpy off the path." The train was now on a little rabbitpath—and dear me, the path led right to a rabbit-hole ! The train didn't stop when it came to the hole—it rushed straight down it!

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It was dreadfully dark in the burrow. All the toys yelled out in fright. "Where are we going? Stop, train, stop!" "It's all right!" shouted the train. "It's only a tunnel. Didn't you know that trains ran through tunnels? We'll soon be out in the open again. Don't worry, now, we shall soon be out in the sunshine." But, of course, they went deeper and deeper down, and very soon the wooden train and all its passengers were quite lost. The teddy bear made the train stop. "We'll be in the middle of the earth if you go on like this," he said. "Now look —here comes a rabbit. We'll ask him the way." The rabbit was very surprised to see the train down the burrow7. "Trains aren't allowed down here," he said. "You'd better go back."

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"Can't," said the train. "I can only go forward." "Well, if you go on you'll come to Toadstool Town," said the rabbit. "The pixies live there. They will tell you the way to go if you ask them." So on went the train again at top speed, along the dark tunnel. Then, quite suddenly, out it came into the sunshine. "Dear me, how bright it seems!" said the big doll, blinking. "Teddy bear, I don't think much of you as a driver. I'm sure this isn't the way to the seaside." All round them were big toadstools.
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The little doll was excited to see them, because she was small enough to knock at the door of one! "It's a little house!" she said. "Look, it's got a door in the stalk—and a tiny stairway goes up to the top." The pixies came crowding round the train. It was panting and puffing with its quick run. "Stop here and have a meal with us," said the pixies to the toys. "Then we will tell you the way to the seaside." So all the toys sat down and had a lovely meal with the pixies. The little

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doll tried to get one of them to give her a pair of wings, but she wouldn't. "You might buy a pair in the next town, where there is a market," she said. "Mine wouldn't fit you."

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As soon as the brownies saw the little doll they loved her. "Catch her!" they cried. "We'll keep her here with us. Stay here, little doll, and you shall have a new dress and a pair of wings and a ring." "No, no!" cried the little doll, and she ran away. But the brownies ran after her, and goodness knows what would have happened if the wooden train hadn't suddenly rushed at the brownies, and knocked them over like skittles. The toys piled themselves quickly into the trucks. The golly waved his flag and blew his whistle, and the train rattled off at top speed. The brownies couldn't possibly catch it. "I didn't buy any wings, after all," wept the little doll. "Oh dear, I was so frightened." "Sit on my knee," said the big doll. "You will be all right when we get to the seaside."
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Bui dear me, the train had been in such a hurry to leave the brownies behind that it had taken the wrong road, and had now lost itself again. It came to an enormous hill. "You can't climb this, train!" said the teddy bear. But there was no other way to go. So up the hill puffed the little wooden train, dragging the trucks behind it. And at last it came to the top. There was a pretty little cottage there, and the toys wanted to stop and ask the

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way of the kind-looking old woman at the gate. But as soon as the train ran over the top of the hill it began to rush downwards and couldn't stop! "Stop, stop!" yelled the bear, as they went faster and faster and faster. But it was quite impossible to stop, and the toys all clutched the sides of their trucks and wondered what was going to happen. "There's a big pond at the bottom of the hill," groaned the bear. "We shall run straight into it, and sink to the bottom ! "I want to get out!" wailed the clockwork mouse. "I don't like going so fast." But SPLASH! Into the water they went. Everybody expected to sink to the bottom, and get soaking wet. But the engine and trucks were made of wood, so of course they all floated beautifully. The trucks sailed along like little boats!
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"Good gracious, whatever next!" said the big doll. "Rushing down tunnels, escaping from brownies, panting up hills, tearing down them, sailing on ponds! What behaviour!" There were some big white ducks on the pond. They didn't like the train splashing into their pond at all. They sailed up, quacking angrily. "Peck that golliwog! Peck that bear! Peck that mouse!" they cried. But the panda pulled up a reed growing in the pond and began to slash out at the big ducks. "Go away or I'll whip you!" he said. "Grrrrrrrrrr!" The ducks sailed a little way away. "Let's make big waves and upset them," said one duck. So they made big waves— but the waves took the engine and the trucks to the shore, and soon the train was on dry land once again.

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"Thank goodness," said the big doll. "Now, train, do try to go slowly, and don't get us into trouble any more." The train was wet and cold and rather tired. So it did go slowly. It went on and on and at last ran over something yellow and soft. "What is this stuff? It looks like sand," said the bear. "Better get out of it, train, or your wheels will sink into it and you won't be able to move." That was just what did happen. The wheels sank into the sand, and the train felt too tired to drag them out. So there it stood, quite still. The toys got out. "I wonder where we are?" said the golliwog to the rabbit. "What's that noise?" Now, although the toys didn't know it, they had come to the seaside. They were on the sandy beach, and far down it was the sea. The tide was just coming in.
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The toys could hear the sound of the waves breaking, but they didn't know what it was. They all wandered about, picking up shells and bits of seaweed. "This seems a very lonely kind of place," said the golliwog. "And look, what is that far away down the sand? Is it water?" "Yes. Another pond, I expect," said the pink cat. "Well, I'm not going near it. I feel tired. I'm going to go and rest against a truck. You'd better come with me."

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So all the toys went to rest themselves against the trucks, and they fell asleep. And of course the tide came in and the waves came nearer and nearer! One wave made such a noise that it awoke the golliwog. He sat up in alarm. "Look!" he said. "That pond has come

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near to us. It's got waves at the edge. It's trying to reach us !" "It's getting nearer and nearer!" cried the teddy bear, and he jumped up. "Oh, it's a most ENORMOUS pond. I've never seen one like it. It's trying to swallow us up!" Splash! A big wave broke near them and ran right to the big doll's feet. It wetted her toes and she screamed. "Quick! Let's run away!" she cried. "We'll be swallowed up by the waves if we don't." The bear, the golliwog and the monkey pulled hard at the train to make it run over the sand. At last they managed to get it to a firmer patch where the wheels did not sink in. "Now, get in, everybody!" cried the bear. "We're off!" Splash! A wave ran right up to them and the train rushed away in fright. It

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tore up the beach and on to the roadway. It rattled along, with all the toys holding tight. Dear, dear, where would they get to next ? After a long, long time they came to a little town. The train rushed down the street, and came to an open gateway. It ran in, panting. "I really must have a rest," it said. "Get out, toys, for a minute." They got out—and the big doll gave a loud cry. "Why—we're in our own
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garden ! Look — there's the rose-bed — and the garden-seat—and the children's swing! Train, you've brought us all the way back. However did you know?" "He didn't," said the bear. "It was just good luck. My goodness, I'm glad to be home again. No more holidays for me!" "I should have liked to see the seaside," said the clockwork mouse, as they all went back to the nursery. "So should I," said the big doll. "We'll go another day." "But not by train," said the golliwog. "We'll go on the rocking-horse. He's not so likely to lose his way!" "Well, I did my best," said the wooden train. "I couldn't help losing my way. The teddy bear should have taken me the right road !" "Never mind—it was a most exciting journey," said the bear. And it certainly was, wasn't it?
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Published by Brockhampton Press Ltd, Market Place, Leicester Printed in Great Britain by A.B. & S. Ltd, Leicester & London

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